8 Interesting Facts about the Danish Royal Family

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Monarchy always fascinates me. It is full of glam, luxury, scandals and mystery. Even though I’m not living in a country of monarchs, I strongly support monarchy because it is one of the greatest representations of how history links with the present. One interesting royal family history I love to read about is the Monarchy of Denmark. Here are some interesting facts about this family of royalties:

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The Monarchy of Denmark is more than 1,000 years old with its history going back to the time of Vikings.

The Danish royal family is one of the oldest monarchies that still exist in the world today. But, it is the second oldest one in Europe. The current Danish kingdom goes all the way back to the Viking rulers Gorm the Old and his son Harald Bluetooth. Gorm the Old ruled in the 10th century.

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The first recognized king of Denmark, Gorm the Old, was not actually old.

Gorm the Old was also called Gorm the Languid. History states that he ruled since c. 936 until his death in c. 958. Gorm the Old was born earlier than c. 900. He reigned from Jelling and created the oldest Jelling Stone for his queen Thyra Dannebod.

In Gorm’s time, the custom was to give nicknames to people as surnames. There were actually a lot of factors in coming up with a nickname for a person: a specific joke, a pun, a prominent physical trait or a particular event. Gorm was called “the Languid” not because he was lazy or unenergetic. He was just watchful or did constant monitoring of his surroundings.

Now, Gorm did not live to be very old. He was considered old in history because he had consistently been acknowledged as the ancestral ruler of the Monarchy of Denmark. His reign of 40 years is also considered to be the longest among the Viking rulers.

The second king of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth, has an influential nickname until the modern age.

This is one of the most mind-blowing facts I’ve heard in my entire life. First of all, let’s go back to why Harald was called “Bluetooth.” History dictates that Harald had a badly decayed tooth. That tooth was called “blue” because the word meant “dark” in Harald’s time.

Today’s technology using the term Bluetooth for wireless file and data transfers is not a coincidence to Harald’s nickname. Because of Harald’s power in unifying Norway and Denmark, Bluetooth’s designers made it as an inspiration for the technology’s name because of its power in unifying phones and computers. The logo of Bluetooth is even composed of Harald’s Nordic rune initials.

The third king of Denmark, Sweyn Forkbeard, rebelled against his own father to seize the kingdom.

Sweyn Forkbeard amazingly conquered England aside from being the king of Denmark and some areas in Norway. He was the son of Harald Bluetooth. He was known as the first Danish ruler of England. By 980s, he decided to revolt against his father to seize Denmark. After defeat, Harald was banished and died a few years after. But, Sweyn was not accepted by the people because of the revolution. When he followed his father’s campaign supporting Christianity, it is believed that he was accepted by his country once again.

Queen Margrethe II is an all-around artist.

One of the famous women I’ve been respecting for a long time now is Queen Margrethe II. The current queen of Denmark is not just a beautiful ruler. She successfully pursued her passions such as ballet, literature and art. Her artworks are found in different museums around the world. The Danish queen loves to paint minimalist and delicate landscapes. She also knows how to create abstract paintings and collages. In 2012, her biggest retrospective exhibition was held at Copenhagen’s Arken Museum. There were at least 130 watercolor paintings displayed in her exhibits.

Jeppe Boje Nielsen

Queen Margrethe II only has stage fright in one specific event.

Facing thousands of people as a ruler is just a walk in the park for Queen Margrethe II. But, whenever she opens her own art exhibition, the Queen admitted she struggles with stage fright. She explained that she always feels butterflies in her stomach every time she presents her paintings.

Christian IX’s tremendous success in history has nothing to do with him being the King of Denmark.

Come to think of it, being the ruler of Denmark definitely helped Christian IX’s luck in marrying off his children to royalties all over Europe. But, Christian IX did not become popular because of some direct changes in his kingdom. He is historically known as “the father-in-law of Europe.”

Every one of Christian IX’s six children successfully became prominent people in different European countries. Frederick VIII married Princess Louise of Sweden, Princess Alexandra to Edward VII of the United Kingdom, George I of the Hellenes to the Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, Princess Dagmar of Denmark to Alexander III of Russia, Princess Thyra of Denmark to the Crown Prince of Hanover Ernest Augustus, and Prince Valdemar of Denmark to Princess Marie of Orléans.

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King Christian VII is infamous for his various psychological problems.

Christian VII is historically known as the Danish king with severe psychological instability. He struggled with hallucinations, self-mutilation, paranoia, violent anger and anxiety attacks because of schizophrenia. He also became popular due to his intense dislike of sexual intercourse with his wife Queen Caroline Mathilde. Shyness about his sexuality is definitely not included as a reason because he was frequent in brothels.

Christian VII continued to be a nightmare to Caroline by forcing her to stay at home during summer while he continued to go out and have improper fun with his friends. He became even more notorious for the whole kingdom to see because of his violent sexual preferences and public masturbation.

Rosenborg/Kongernes Samling

Final Thoughts

There are definitely positive reasons behind the longevity of monarchies spanning hundreds of years. Despite royal families’ dark secrets, their people still respected their kingdoms, proven by their continuous rule. I can’t wait for the future of monarchies decades from now.